Chances are you will be carrying a Qi charging kit in the not so distant future.
Wireless in-car wireless smartphone charging pads, many using the Qi (pronounced “chee”) standard are hitting the market in aftermarket and OEM products.
On the aftermarket side, Brandmotion is formally introducing its wireless charging pads to retailers next month at the KnowledgeFest trade show. It launched a universal charging kit early this month with pads that may be cut to size for various car consoles. It also offers kits to custom fit certain cars.
Harman is also looking into offering Qi charging pads, and Audiovox (VOXX) offers a Qi charging cradle.
The charging pads let drivers simply place their phone on a pad in a console or elsewhere in the car so it may charge without wires.
Cadillac just announced it will put Powermat charging pads in the 2015 ATS this fall. Toyota already offers wireless “Qi” charging in the 2014 Avalon and Prius and is bringing it to the 2015 Camry. Wireless charging is also available in the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, and 2013 Dodge Dart.
Brandmotion’s Jeff Varick says the charging pads are an accessory sale opportunity for retailers. Already, the smartphone is leading customers into 12 volt stores to match their phone with their radio. A wireless charging pad is “another brick in the smartphone integration story,” and it appeals to any demographic, young or old.
“We believe that what you see today is just the earliest indication of an emerging trend. The Camry will have it in the fall. It’s the number one selling vehicle in the U.S. On the teaser options on Toyota.com wireless charging is number six,” said Varick.
Brandmotion offers a data base on where to place the charging pads in various car models. It also offers cases for the iPhone 4 and 5 to make the phones compatible with the Qi charging system, the most popular to date
Audiovox’s cradle plugs into the car’s cigarette lighter and then holds your phone so that it can charge as you drive, without any additional wires.
Qi wireless charging requires Qi-compatible smartphones. Cases are available for most leading phones and many models offer built-in capability. A listing of Qi-ready phones is here.
For more on wireless charging see story here.